Fear is a melodramatic response to the unknown- or Lady Gaga flying Economy.
While it is useful if it stops you shaking hands with a lion, it is mostly triggered at the thought of being left in sole charge of more than one child under five.
Facing down a certain amount of it is therefore healthy, unless you want to spend the rest of your life wrapped around a cushion watching Holly Willoughby taste paella.
The hour of fear’s departure is the very hour of its need- generally 3 a.m, when carrying on to an unlicensed bar seems like a good idea.
As ignoring it once could mean a matter of life or death yet acquiescing too often a matter of death in life, fear-as-instinct is best obeyed; fear on reflection is not.
Hate is the instinct of a whopping tantrum distilled into an essence by the espresso machine of consciousness.
It is a profound sense of personal injustice- whether to the body or the soul- which is why you can feel as much antipathy towards a spear of asparagus as to the person who looked you in the eye as they rolled into your parking space.
Just as preferences reflect individuality, dislikes point to a universal ugliness: nobody loves a hater; one day Simon Cowell will realise this and wake up as Cheryl Cole, which will make people hate him even more.
Because hate is a two-stage process of sensitivity to an unyielding world and self-righteous interpretation you have but two choices: find less things to hate or find things less hateful.
Worrying is an energy inefficient session of macabre fortune telling- a Hummer doing ‘trick or treat’.
If a worry is realised, the time wasted compounds the catastrophe; if it isn’t, the time wasted is gone forever, along with the two hours you spent watching Pearl Harbour.
If you invest in worry as a form of self-protection you will get better returns from a Post Office savings account; if you invest in it as world view you will get no returns at all, as someone will bludgeon you to death with a frozen leg of lamb.
No one ever goes to their death-bed wishing they had worried more but worrying often sends worriers quicker to theirs.
Because worry posits the present self in a future situation rather than the future self in a present situation, all that is left is to sit back, relax and allow a different you to face the future.
Guilt is a faux gesture of atonement, like pretending to reach for the ‘open doors’ button in a lift, when an old person approaches.
It fills the gap between what you want to do and what you should do so you can continue to do what you want to do without feeling like a sociopath.
Concerning the welfare of other people yet being privately indulged, it is entirely bogus- the emotional equivalent of locking yourself in the bathroom and scoffing a KFC family bucket.
Without guilt you are a selfish person; with it you are a selfish person who wishes you weren’t.
The third way is to regard it less as a noun and more as a verb, thereby guilting yourself into taking whatever action is necessary to become guilt-free.
Jealousy is the suspicion that your partner’s least favourite wedding vow was ‘forsaking all others’; or, if you are a polygamist’s wife that, of all the others, you are the one he would most like to forsake.
It is the love child of an overactive imagination and an underactive self-regard, transformed into the Bride of Chucky if the third party is even vaguely attractive.
As it is necessary to prize a person in order to fear losing them, jealousy is not without a redeeming feature.
Unfortunately, super-sized possessiveness is precisely the sort of behaviour that will send them running for the hills.
Because the only real control we have is over ourselves, the best way to counter the projected fabulousness of another in the eyes of the beloved is to maintain the real fabulousness of oneself as their love.
Regret is retrospective wishing, with an absentee genie.
It is the doleful acknowledgment that things could have turned out differently, if it weren’t for that last bottle of wine.
Whether for things done or left undone it’s those moments you’d volunteer to pop out and make the tea during the movie of your life.
With its whiff of remove, politicians prefer it to apology while canny criminals pass it over in favour of remorse.
There are some who have a lot of regrets: these are naughty people with a conscience.
Others think it is important not to have any: these are just very naughty people.
Frank Sinatra allowed himself a few but only for services to the karaoke industry.
The reality is that real regret chooses you and not the other way around so engage enthusiastically in its avoidance or else live to regret it.